TransOceanic Tragedies

This is a page of TransOceanic tragedies- heinous crimes committed against Zenith's TransOceanic line of portable shortwave radios. These misfits were discovered by members of the now-defunct TransOceanic Mailing List, as well as observant viewers of my site. If you've found any more in eBay auctions, web sites or antique shops, please email me using the email address at the bottom of the page.

Tragedy #1: T-O In A Tabletop Cabinet?

This appears to be a 7G605 (the first and rarest of the civilian Trans-Oceanic models) chassis pulled out of its original cabinet and crudely fitted into a wooden tabletop case. Although the chassis would make a good replacement for a basketcase 7G605 with a good case, this still seems horrifying to me.

Tragedy #2: Good Lord...

This is a 8G005 (the second civilian model) whose case was covered with white contact paper. While the original case is still there, they could've at least made the contact paper black. To me, a T-O in a white case looks unnatural, but others may have different opinions.

Tragedy #3: R-520A/URR in a leather T-600 case

This tragedy was discovered long before the other two. To the non-TransOceanic fanatic, this looks like a normal 600-series TransOceanic in a brown cowhide leather case. The letters USA stamped on the chassis and dial, along with the shields over the tubes, suggest that this is actually a military R-520A/URR (which is the rarest of all the tube Trans-Oceanic models [only around 2,700 produced]) chassis installed in a leather T-600 (according to the model number stamped on the inside) case. A true R-520A/URR has a green "oilskin" case with the letters USA stamped on the front, and (usually) a Signal Corps. tag underneath the bottom latch strike-plate. (Thanks to Jerry Franks, who owns this monstrosity [but didn't do the dirty deed of switching the cases] and supplied the pictures.)

Tragedy #4: One mixed-up beast...

At first glance, this looks like a standard A600 whose faceplate and logbook door had been replaced with that of a leather 600. If you look more closely, however, you can see that the gold ring normally around the dial is also brown, and the back of the logbook door is gray, not brown as a normal leather T-O logbook door would be. It appears that someone painted the faceplate and logbook cover brown, and added gold accents as well. Could someone have planned to paint the rest of this T-O brown and pass it off as a leather 600?

Tragedy #5: When you think you've seen it all...

Here is some info on this monstrocity from the kind person who discovered it and sent me these pictures: "...a 'gem' I found in a local antique store here in Bisbee, AZ. Note the genuine lavender corderouy. This basket-case TO is missing most of its buttons, knobs, tubes, the case falls apart when opened and can be yours for the low low price of $129.00. I questioned the dealer about this radio and was informed that it is an extremely rare, highly desirable radio." To say that these pictures are disturbing is quite an understatement. All I can hope is that there are no other radios which have been "beautified" by the individual who modified this once-proud H500. Thanks to Brian Hope for supplying me with the pictures and info.

Tragedy #6: Trans-Mongrel-Oceanic

After a long period of inactivity, T-O Tragedies is back, this time with yet another horror story courtesy of eBay. At one point, this thing seems to have been a H500. Along the way, however, someone decided to sloppily paint the thing white, replace the faceplate with one from an A600 or B600 model (complete with knockout plugs for the dial light switch and headphone jack, and marker for a nonexistent 9MC band!), and hack a phono input jack onto the back (a feature not seen until the T600 model, and neither was the sixth tube; wonder if this makes it a H600?). Somehow, this monstrocity managed to go for the princely sum of $102.50; this could be due to the fact that it seems to have three 1L6s included with it (including the one taped to the chassis), though no word on whether or not any of them are good.

Tragedy #7: Royal 1000 from the future?!

Recently, someone sent me an info request regarding TransOceanic 1000 parts. When I mentioned the model "Royal 1000", the person became confused, thinking that the Royal 1000 name referred to an entirely different model, one with a leather strap handle on the top. Some comparing of notes revealed a set which was indeed labeled "Royal 1000", but that's where the similarities ended! Unlike the original TransOceanic version of the Royal 1000, this set was made around 1980, and was built in Hong Kong (like the R-7000 TransOceanic which was still made during that period, itself a partial re-use of a model number). Unlike the TransOceanics, this set doesn't cover shortwave, but rather several parts of the VHF band and some portion of the UHF band, as well as AM and FM (which, of course, the original Royal 1000 lacked!). I have no idea why Zenith chose to re-use the "Royal 1000" name for this set, made over 20 years after the original. More info on this oddity can be found on this page. Thanks to John Wingate for pointing this out to me!

Tragedy #8: An 8G005L?!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the T-O water, another tragedy rears its ugly head. In this case, it's an 8G005 whose black leatherette covering has been replaced by some sort of brown pleather or contact paper. I must say, whoever did the work actually seems to have done a fairly good job, with few signs of bubbling (though the bottom and the inside of the top cover definitely show some). Also, they neglected to paint the plastic parts to match, giving it a rather mismatched appearance (though not quite as bad as the pseudo-A600L above).

Tragedy #9: Not again!!!

As seen above, military Trans-Oceanics sometimes got modified in order to pass as a standard civilian model, oftentimes being painted black to look like a standard H500 (or T600) when they were "liberated" from the military. This R-520/URR, however, was given the complete opposite of a camouflage job by being painted seafoam green! Exactly how they intended to fool anyone, I have no idea. As you can see, it still sports traces of the old brown oilcloth, as well as the multi-colored band markings on the faceplate, and the battery adaptor kit on the inside of the back cover.

Tragedy #10: A Royal 3000 abomination

For some reason, solid-state Trans-Oceanic Tragedies haven't shown up here much (the "future" Royal 1000 seen above probably doesn't technically belong here, since it hasn't been molested by its owner, but it was somewhat of a goofy factory oddity, so it stays). However, they are definitely out there, as this re-covered Royal 3000-1 proves. Someone replaced the original black leather covering at some point with what appears to be faux alligator hide. Whatever glue they used hasn't held up well, and I don't think the area around the DC input jack ever looked all that great. Fortunately, the covering on the inside of the front door as well as the rear cover door were spared, and they transferred the front door emblem over. Thanks to Ken W7ITC for pointing this out to me!

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